I think we identify with our houses like we identify with our cars (I can't be the only one who feels sated after a filler-up at the gas station). Working on my house, better yet, having a crew of other people work on my house, has always felt like self-care to me; the confusion runs deep enough that it didn't surprise me when a friend, offering to help paint, said "Benjamin Moore is my boyfriend!"
But the labor gives me sore hands and shoulders, so I've resorted to less metaphorical body work twice in the past two weeks. I'm fortunate to have had someone recommended to me—two years before I finally went to see her, unfortunately—who is extraordinarily gifted, and achy shoulders and that twinge behind my left scapula are already nearly gone.
I wonder why, when some of the most gifted healers we have are massage therapists, reflexologists, and people who fall under the hazy but nonetheless invaluable rubric of energy work, our plans for better national health coverage don't include these modalities as 'preventive medicine?' Preventive medicine is still viewed largely as screening programs, which are fine as far as they go, and sometimes fitness club memberships or a nutrition class here and there, which are also fine as far as they go.
I can feel the pain draining down my arm and out my fingers as I write this. Massage is good for the muscles, the lymph, the adrenals, the spirit. Maybe it could be the tar and paint job for our ship of state, too. With the stress of economic and other upheavals, with all our knots and blockages related to addictive military spending and gay rights, with all the bold and subtle signs of imbalance around us, mightn't our body politic benefit from a crew of massage therapists?